Trump rejects calls to temper rhetoric: 'I think I've been toned down'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE on Friday rejected calls to temper his political rhetoric in the aftermath of a nationwide bomb scare involving many prominent Democrats with whom he has traded barbs.

"I think I've been toned down, if you want to know the truth," Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for a campaign event in North Carolina.

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The president reiterated his belief that the news media has been "unfair" to him, a point he said he could make in more pointed terms if he wanted.

"I could really tone it up because, as you know, the media's been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party," Trump said.

The president was making his first comments since law enforcement officials announced the arrest of Cesar Sayoc Jr., who was charged with five federal crimes for allegedly mailing explosive devices to more than a dozen Democrats, celebrities and news organizations.

Trump acknowledged Sayoc is "a person that preferred me over others" but claimed not to have seen pro-Trump stickers on a van purportedly belonging to the suspect.

"I did not. I did not see my face on the van," the president said when asked about the images.

The president said there is "no blame" and "no anything" for the attempted bombings because other acts of political violence have been carried out by liberals, including last year's shooting at a congressional baseball practice that resulted in serious injuries to House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseWin by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP Scott Fitzgerald wins Wisconsin GOP primary to replace Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner GOP leaders go into attack mode against Harris MORE (R-La.)

Trump said he would call former President Obama, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates Trump campaign spox rips GOP congressman over rejection of QAnon conspiracy Biden hits back after Trump's attacks on Harris MORE and other Democrats who were targets of the explosives "if they wanted me to" but added: "I think we'll probably pass."

The president has come under fire for his response to the bomb scare. Trump has made several calls for unity, but has stepped on his own message by continuing to hurl barbs against targeted Democrats and the media and by rejecting the notion that his rhetoric has stoked partisan divisions.